NRL News

22 States join in defense of Alabama’s Unborn Child Protection from Dismemberment Abortion Act

by | Mar 21, 2017

By Kathy Ostrowski, Legislative Director, Kansans for Life

The governors and attorneys general of 22 states have joined together to file an amicus curiae (friend of the court) brief to support Alabama’s ban on dismemberment abortions.

U.S. District Judge Myron Thompson first issued a temporary restraining order against Alabama’s Unborn Child Protection from Dismemberment Abortion Act in July 2016.

Last Friday, the U.S. Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals received the brief organized by the Office of Louisiana’s Attorney General Jeff Landry.

Included are six states which have passed this ban [Arkansas, Louisiana, Kansas, Mississippi, Oklahoma and West Virginia] and sixteen which have not [Arizona, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan, Missouri, Nebraska, Nevada, Ohio, South Carolina, South Dakota, Texas, Utah, and Wisconsin].

This filing reminds that as noted in the U.S. Supreme Court’s 2007 Gonzales ruling upholding the federal ban on partial-birth abortions, states have the right to pass abortion restrictions that (1) protect and foster respect for the unborn, and (2) regulate the medical profession as to judgment and ethics.

Moreover, the amicus continues,

“the abortion method involved in this case is an exceptionally gruesome one, potentially even more so than the ‘partial-birth’ procedure at issue in Gonzales.”

One method of abortion after the first trimester is induced labor abortions, done mostly in hospital settings. The child is prematurely delivered and dies.

Most others are done surgically by “D&E” in which the birth canal is dilated and the unborn child extracted.

The abortion industry defense of dismemberment abortions is the claim that “D&E” is safe and used for 95% of second trimester abortions. But all D&E abortions are not being banned.

The design of the Unborn Child Protection from Dismemberment Abortion Act, model legislation supported by NRLC, is such that it bans only one specific method used upon a still-alive unborn baby.

The procedure banned by the Alabama’s Unborn Child Protection from Dismemberment Abortion Act is defined as the tearing apart of an unborn child while still alive in the mother; a child who, in the words of U.S, Justice Anthony Kennedy, “dies just as a human adult or child would: It bleeds to death as it is torn limb from limb.” Stenberg v. Carhart, dissent, 530 U.S. 914, 958-959.

As an explanation of a law “requiring fetal demise before dismemberment,” the states authoring this brief insist they

“do not intend to sanction abortion generally. They also regret being placed in the incongruous position as advocating for fetal death as a humane alternative to a procedure that should have no place in civilized society.”


States like Kansas that have enacted the dismemberment ban, heard abortionists rely on the claim that because D&E abortions are “the most common,” that the state dare not ban them. But the state is not banning all D&E abortions, as noted above, a distinction that most media accounts resolutely miss.

The multi-state amicus brief notes,

“Even when some abortion providers consider a forbidden procedure to be medically preferable, the State’s reasonable resolution of the tradeoffs prevails. Abortion providers instead must work to find abortion methods that are more consistent with respect for life.”

Of course, the ultimate goal is for the Roe regime, and abortions, to end.

In the interim, it is promising that 22 states are supporting Alabama’s Unborn Child Protection from Dismemberment Abortion Act. According to the amicus,

“By limiting the use of particularly ‘brutal’ abortion procedures, States further respect for life, both in society at large and in the medical profession in particular. They also protect women from the deep grief many of them are likely to feel if and when they later discover exactly how their unborn children were killed.”

Categories: Legislation